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If you plan to grow dogwood trees in your landscape, you should know how long dogwood trees live. If this is the case, you are in the right article. In this article, I will answer & ‘How long do dogwood trees live’ and tell you the lifespan of different types of dogwood trees along with factors that can affect their lifespan.

Further, we will discuss what you should do when you notice dying dogwood trees and how you can extend their lifespan using different techniques. But before all this, let’s begin with the first basic question: how long do dogwood trees live?

How Long Do Dogwood Trees Live

On average, dogwood trees live around 30 to 40 years old, while some can live up to 80 years or more. In general, the lifespan of each dogwood tree depends upon many factors like its species, environment, & care. 

You will likely find many examples of exclusionary long-lived, exceptionally long-lived trees, including dogwood trees in the George Washington Mount Verna state garden, which is over 200 years old.

I am quite Fascinated by a dogwood tree situated at the edge of a cornfield in West Virginia, estimated to be over 300 years old. That’s quite surprising, At least for me.

If you are looking for a variety with the longest lifespan, go with the Pacific dogwood trees. On the other hand, rough-leaf dogwood trees tend to have the shortest lifespan, as per my research & reports.

5 Types of Dogwood Trees & their Lifespan

Dogwood Tree SpeciesLifespanFeaturesNative to
Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)30-40 yearsPink or white flowersEastern United States
Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa)40 yearsRed fruit, exfoliating barkEast Asia
Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii)Up to 150 yearsLarge white flowersWestern North America
Cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas)40-150 yearsEdible fruit, yellow flowersEurope and Asia
Roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii)50-70 yearsRough, textured leaves, white flowersNorth America

5 Factors Affecting Dogwood Tree Lifespan

How Long Do Dogwood Trees Live

Soil Quality

The first factor that will directly affect the lifespan of your dogwood tree is the soil quality. It is a crucial factor that directly determines the health & lifespan of your tree. Almost all dogwood trees prefer well-draining, slightly acidic soil with a pH range of around 5.52 to 6.5.

You should avoid planting dogwood in very dry or extremely wet soil, as this will put unwanted stress on your tree. A stressed-out dogwood tree is more susceptible to diseases and pests than the Normal one.

In addition, it is important to check the soil nutrient content, as it also plays a significant role in the dogwood tree lifespan. You should provide your tree with the proper balance of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and potassium.

Any nutrient deficiency can weaken your dogwood tree, making it susceptible to diseases & pest infestations. As I told you, proper fertilization at the right time is necessary to ensure the tea tree is getting proper nutrients.

Tree Variety

The variety of dogwood trees you choose will directly affect their lifespan. Each variety of dog trees comes with different characteristics which affect their lifespan.

The most common dogwood trees are flowering dogwood, Kousa dogwood, and hybrid dogwood trees. All of these common varieties have different lifespans. The average lifespan of a flowering dogwood tree is said to be 30 to 40 years.

On the other hand, white Kousa dogwood tends to live up to 80 years. You can see that Kousa dogwood trees have a longer lifespan than the common flowering dogwood trees.

Climate and Weather Conditions

I hope you are aware that dogwood trees like moderate temperatures and high humidity. Thus, it would help if you protect your tree from extreme weather events as it indirectly impacts its lifespan.

Any weather condition like drought, heat wave, or winter can stress out your dogwood tree, making it susceptible to diseases and affecting its lifespan & health.

In addition, Frost and freeze damage can also cause bark splitting and death of branches you don’t want. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, dogwood trees grow best in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9.

In these zones, your trees are less likely to experience extreme weather conditions that can negatively affect their lifespan.

Diseases and Pests 

It can get infected if you don’t care for your dogwood tree properly. If you don’t know how to or have no experience, first you need to learn “How To Take Care Of A Dogwood Tree” because there are several types of diseases & pests can affect their lifespan and the health of your dogwood tree.

The most common ones are very irritating anthracnose, powdery mildew, and root rot. In severe cases, these diseases can cause leaf drop, stem cankers, and even tree death. I have frequently noticed some common pests in this specimen are dogwood borers, scale insects, & aphids.

You must monitor your time to time properly for signs of pest infestation and treat your tree immediately if required. Pest can cause serious damage to your tree’s health because they feed on its leaves & parts. Proper maintenance & care, including pruning and pest & Disease Control, help prevent these risks.

Maintenance and Care

Yes, proper maintenance and care are also crucial to the lifespan of your dogwood trees. As a regular part of maintenance, you should do regular pruning to remove dead and damaged branches, which improves the three overall health, not only its shape.

Also, ensure that you are fertilizing your tree with proper nutrients & watering it at the right time. You should never Water Your tree too much, either. Only consider giving some extra water during dry spells. Overwatering will directly cause stress on your tree, making it susceptible to diseases & pest infestation.

Increasing the Lifespan of Dogwood Trees

Proper Planting Techniques

If you want to increase your dogwood tree’s lifespan, it is important to follow proper planting techniques as well. Here are a few tips that you should follow while planting your trees:

  1. Choose the Right Location: you must choose the right location to plant your tree because they thrive in partial shade & well-draining soil. Choose a location that doesn’t hold back water.  Consider reading “When to Plant Dogwood Trees?” & 11 Best Place To Plant Dogwood Tree” to learn more in-depth.
  2. Plant at the Right Depth: Make sure you are planting your dogwood tree at the same depth as it was in the necessary nursery.
  3. Mulch the Tree: After planting your tree, you must prevent weed growth and retain moisture. To do this, consider mulching around the base of your tree.

Pruning & Maintenance

Yes, pruning and maintenance will help you a lot in increasing the lifespan of your tree as well. Since it promotes healthy growth and keeps your tree in shape, makes sure to follow these three tips:

  1. Prune Annually: On an annual basis, you should be pruning a dogwood tree to remove dead branches as it helps in promoting new growth.
  2. Prune at the Right Time:  Also, you need to ensure that you are pruning your tree at the right time, which is a dormant season. Pruning a tree in a dormant season is better to avoid stress. 
  3. Remove Suckers: Lastly, you must remove suckers from the base of your dogwood trees to prevent disease & pest infestation.

Related Post: How To Prune Red Twig Dogwood Bushes

Soil Management & Fertilisation

I hope you already know that healthy soil is essential for tree growth and overall health. Therefore, you must first test the soil to determine its pH level. You should amend the soil by adding organic matter like compost or leaf litter if required.

All these will help you improve your soil content and increase your tree to live more. Proper fertilization with a balanced fertilizer line of nitrogen, Phosphorus, and potassium is a great help in the growing season.

It would help if you considered using slow-release fertilizers this Springtime.

Disease & Pest Control

As I told you earlier, diseases and pests are significant factors that impact the longevity of a tree. Therefore, you must regularly check your tree for signs of pest & disease infestation regularly.

If you notice any, treat the tree with that appropriate fungicide or insecticide. I like to practice good hygiene by removing fallen leaves and debris that can harbor pests & diseases. It would help if you considered doing it too.

Watering and Irrigation 

Firstly, ensure you are regularly watering your tree for the first year of its growth. Also, ensure you water your tree during dry spells & extreme temperatures.

However, it is important that you also avoid overwatering your tree to prevent root rot and other problems. I use a drip irrigation system to provide my trees with a slow & steady supply of water.

Dying Dogwood Tree: Identification & Treatment

Firstly, you must recognize the signs of dying dogwood trees. You might do something wrong than doing right if you don’t know what the situation is. Therefore, let’s take a quick look at some common signs of dying dogwood trees.

  1. Discolored Leaves: If your tree leaves are turning Brown or yellow while starting to fall off quickly, it indicates that your tree is not getting the proper amount of nutrients or water. It’s still possible to act and revive your plant.
  2. Cracks in Bark: If you notice any kinds of cracks or peels on the bark, it clearly indicates fungal disease or pest Infestation. If this is the case, I will advise you to act quickly & treat it with the right fungicide or insecticide.
  3. Wilting Flowers:  If you notice your dogwood trees’ flowers wilting & dying before they fully Bloom, it’s a direct sign of Poor health. It would help if you considered testing the soil first. 
  4. Dead Branches: Dead branches are also a clear sign of dying dogwood trees. Or it could also be a result of diseases, pests, or environmental factors.
  5. Weak Root System: If your tree has a weak root system, it will lead to stunted growth & eventual death as the roots will not have enough strength to support its growth. 

If you notice any of the above signs, you must act promptly & take the necessary steps. First, I will advise you to determine the reason behind your dogwood tree decline. It could be disease, pest, or other environmental factors like excess water.

If you notice any dead branches, you should consider removing them to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. If the problem is due to a lack of water, consider watering your plant properly.

After that, you should consider fertilizing your tree soil with fertilizers like 10-10&10 to provide essential nutrients and seek professional help. Despite your effort, if your tree’s condition doesn’t improve, you should seek help from a certified arborist.

Extending the Life of a Dying Dogwood Tree

Tree Surgery

This is something certified arborists or tree care specialists best do because it involves removing dead or diseased parts of the tree to promote new growth & improve overall health.


If you have any prior experience with grafting, consider joining a healthy branch or stem of another tree on your dying dogwood trees to promote new growth. This technique is very effective but should only be done by the experienced grafter.

Root Feeding

Here, you will again need to call a certified arborist as root feeding involves injecting nutrients directly into your tree’s root to provide it with the essential nutrients it needs. This is a very helpful method but quite expensive.

Other Techniques to Extend the Life of a Dying Dogwood Tree

  1. It would help if you used shade cloth or a tree wrap to protect your tree bark bar from excessive sunlight during hot weather or Extreme temperature fluctuation. 
  2. Make sure you apply a dressing to your tree’s wounds to promote healing and prevent infection if required.
  3. I like to improve the soil drainage by adding drainage pipes. You can also do this by creating a slope to prevent water logging.


How Long Do Flowering Dogwoods Live?

Flowering dogwoods are a popular specimen that people love growing in their gardens as a focal point. Having lots of these trees can also increase your property value by up to 10%. Flowering dogwoods live up to 80 years with proper care & maintenance.


Note that proper care and maintenance are key to extending the life of any tree. Since this dogwood tree is a long-living specimen, you should only grow it if willing to put in the effort. During the first year of growth, you will need frequent watering, but the tree will be fine after that.

You must provide extra watering during the hottest part of the day or dry spells. After reading this article, you learned everything regarding the lifespan of dogwood trees. If you find the article helpful, then consider sharing it.

Your share will help many people learn about the dogwood tree’s lifespan and what can affect its longevity. See you in the next post. Till then, take care and goodbye.